October 17, 2014

Dear Friends,

Here is the 79th issue of our weekly gardening newsletter for Houston, the Gulf Coast and beyond. This a project of The Lazy Gardener, Brenda Beust Smith, John Ferguson and Mark Bowen (both John and Mark are with Nature's Way Resources). We also have a great supporting cast of contributing writers and technical specialists who will chime in and tweak away regularly. We would love to keep receiving your input on this newsletter . . . . comments . . . . suggestions . . . . questions. . . .Email your thoughts to: lazygardenerandfriends@gmail.com. Thanks so much for your interest.
Please  or sign yourself up to receive this newsletter by clicking the "Join Our Mailing List" link just below. We will never sell or share our mailing list to protect the privacy of our subscribers.








Halloween Horticulture? L to r,  Edith Smith's "witch" with marigolds and Becky Robertson's spooky tub. Right: great Halloween choices: top, scarlet betony (Stachys coccinea), multi-colorful crotons and, at bottom, cheery chrysanthemums.






Sally G. from Pearland wants to make her yard more "Halloween-y" for a party. She wants plants that already have flowers but won't die forever over winter. She wants color for containers, table and the garden. 


Don't shop now for permanent container plants, unless you don't mind the extra work of protecting them over winter.  Think temporary color for pots and tables.  Shop for these at grocery stores flower areas, box store plant departments and your independent, neighborhood nurseries.

Use blooming plants on the shelves to pick your colors.  Then actually buy those covered with buds, not all open flowers. New varieties usually hold flowers longer than older varieties. But the minute a flower full opens, it starts to fade.  


Now's the best season to plant perennials, shrubs, vines and bulbs in the garden. Bulbs won't help with color now, but survey all the others for your "look."  
Best resource: your independent neighborhood nurseries. Too often box stores and plant departments bring in forced flowers for quick, seasonal holiday sales. They may, or may not, be varieties that will acclimate to this area.

For more reliable, longer lasting plants, look for Halloween-colored mums, calendulas, lantana, rudbeckias (black-eyed susans), scarlet betony (Stachys coccinea), Blood sage (Salvia coccinea) and others your local nurseryman recommends. 


Even tho these listed may die back in a harsh winter, they should return in spring and be perennial here - provided they are planted in extremely well drained areas. They won't tolerate wet soil during our monsoons.


Marigolds, pansies, violas, primroses, snapdragons, petunias and other typical "English border" plants should provide lots of fabulous spring color.  But don't look for them to last through our hot summers. 


Crotons have all the right colors, and are gorgeous in containers, but usually won't survive our winters without protection. 


To make your Halloween colors really pop, combine them with white and grey flowers/foliage. Right before your party, pinch off leaves that surround or hide flowers.

Left to right, Mrs. Schiller's dwarf viburnum, spreading plum yew and prostate rosemary.  
Speaking of shopping for plants . . . 
In last week's listings of great small or dwarf varieties of plants, I mistakenly listed some incorrectly.

The Arbor Gate, Tomball, staffers recommended these great low-growing choices that they carry: green mound juniper, Mrs. Schiller's dwarf viburnum, drift roses, dwarf Barbados cherry, 'Shi Shi Gashura' camellia, dwarf myrtus, prostrate rosemary, spreading plum yew, Blue Chip buddleia 



                       Left to right, a normal monarch migration, "little red ladies" and barklice.


I love the Houston Chronicle's EarthWeek reports. Two interesting recent ones:


*   As a result of the continuing climate changes, fall color over the entire Northern Hemisphere will arrive later but last longer. Good heavens, ours often doesn't arrive until December as it is! Does this mean we'll get fall color in February? 


* Under "Butterfly Echoes," radar technicians reported an unusually large 200-mile-wide "blob" (they do love scientific terms, don't they?) heading south over St. Louis. Turned out to be monarchs!


*  *  *


LUCIA'S LITTLE RED LADIES AND AN UPDATE ON MICHAEL . . . Lucia Bettler of Lucia's Gardens sent in the nicest note on our recent  "naked ladies" (lycoris) piece. Each year, on Lucia's September birthday, her mother picked her a bouquet of "spider lilies" growing in her gardens. (She didn't call them "naked ladies," Lucia says.) Hers too wandered all around the yard. Now every time she sees one of her "little red ladies" blooming, Lucia feels it's her late mother saying hello. 


For those of us who know and love Lucia and Michael Bettler, owners of one of Houston's best known herbal shops, the news is good from Michael, who has had some serious medical challenges. Just when she could have really used her "little red ladies," Lucia's own crop at one of their old shop sites looked like it was going to skip this year. She still checks on them every fall. 


Lucia said she read my column with such nostalgia, on a whim she went back to the old site. Surprise! There was one of her "little red ladies" blooming away. Since the site is about to be ravaged for new construction, Lucia dug it up and discovered a number of attached bulbs, which she will transplant into her garden. 

Panic not.  These are beneficials. Master Gardener training includes warnings that this time of year, the calls will start coming in from homeowners panicked over white webs on their trees - most often hardwoods such as live oaks and pecans. It's barklice, a most misleading name. 


Not lice at all, these brownish minute insects are good guys - Archipsocus nomas.  A&M nicknamed them "bark maids" who clean up excess fungi, algae, dead bark and other undesirables, under that white protective web. They'll disappear, taking their web with them. Find more at Galveston County Master Gardener's website: aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston  


 *  *  *
*  Brenda Beust Smith's new column in the Lazy Gardener & Friends Houston Area Garden Newsletter is based on her 45-year Houston Chronicle's Lazy Gardener writings. for a copy of the latest newsletter (published by John Ferguson & Mark Bowen of Nature's Way Resources), email lazygardenerandfriends.com.
*  Brenda's group lectures include: "How to Reduce the Size of Your Front Lawn to Save Water Without Infuriating Your Neighbors," "Landscaping for Security," "10 Commandments of Lazy Gardening," and "What's Blooming in the Lazy Gardener's Garden." Details: lazygardener@sbcglobal.net.  Brenda's "Lazy Gardener's Guide" - a when-to-do-what in Greater Houston area gardens - is now available on CD only (pdf file). $20. Checks payable to Brenda B. Smith and mailed to: Lazy Gardener's Guide on CD, 14011 Greenranch Dr., Houston, TX 77039-2103. 
* * *
Color in the herb garden: left to right, nasturtiums with St. Fiacre in the Dominican Sisters garden, Mexican mint marigold (Texas tarragon) and calendulas 


by Susan Gail Wood
Fall is a great time to plant herbs in the Houston area, especially since you can attend the 42nd Annual Herb Fair onNovember 1st at 1475 West Gray Multi Service Center from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. to pick out your favorite plants. The Herb Society of America, South Texas Unit members will give you great growing and using advice. Details: www.herbsociety-stu.org 
Cool season annuals to plant in October or start from seed: dill, parsley, fennel, borage and coriander (cilantro). Only calendulas and nasturtiums are affected by a hard freeze. All will flower and set seed next spring, then die back once the weather heats up in May.
Perennial herbs to transplant in October from 4" or larger pots: rosemary, lavender, catnip, culinary sage, pineapple sage, ornamental salvias, bay trees, oregano, Mexican mint marigold, lemon balm, lemongrass, lemon verbena and mints.
Rosemary planted in the fall rewards you with tiny blue flowers in early spring. "A dry rosemary is a dead rosemary" so don't let it go for more than a day or two in dry soil.
Pick the lavender you prefer by brushing a few leaves to release the fragrance. To insure lavender won't rot from excess moisture give it good drainage by adding sand or pea gravel to the soil or potting mix.
To successfully grow catnip, place a wire basket over the base of the herb to protect it from cats who love to nibble and roll on the leaves. Anything outside the wire basket is fair game.
Culinary sage, pineapple sage and ornamental sages are easy to grow. Black and blue sage spreads rampantly, so give away extra plants to all your friends next spring.
Bay trees are slow growing but make a lovely specimen tree in full sun area. They attract beneficial green lacewings to your garden. Scale or a black sooty mold on the leaves means you are growing it in too much shade.
Oregano is easy to grow, forming large clumps that need to be divided every 3 years or so. Mexican mint marigold, called "Texas tarragon", has delightful yellow blossoms each fall.
Lemon verbena is a tender perennial shrub needing protection from a freeze. It is late to bud out in spring, so water and wait. Lemongrass blooms with a large plume in late fall. It, along with lemon balm and various mints, will die back to the ground in freezing weather but recover from the roots once spring is here.
Apply fresh mulch to your herb garden in the fall. Water to protect herbs before a hard freeze. Use freeze cloth or sheets to cover tender herbs, securing the edges with rocks or bricks so they don't blow off during the night.
Most importantly, water well at least once a week if insufficient rainfall. Many herbs that die over the winter do so from a lack of water, not the cold weather.  


*  *  * 


Where can you find all these herbs?  And great advice on growing herbs in this area?

At the 42nd annual Herb Society of America/South Texas Unit Herb Fair, of course!  The Herb Fair is in a new location this year: the Multi-Service Center at 1475 West Gray. Doors open at 9am and there's always a long line waiting to get in, so go early for the multiple demonstrations, vendors, herb plants and Passalong Plant area, along with the popular blends, jellies, soaps and craft items. Free admission and doors close at 3pm. Details and advance order forms are available at www.herbsociety-stu.org.
*  *  *







Gardening Q & A:




All of the soil in my yard is under laid with a large amount of clay which definitely doesn't drain well.  When we get the heavy rains as we have lately, many of my plants just give up!  I have dug up the soil down about 6 inches and either amended with 50% compost or with landscapers soil from Nature's Resources.  It doesn't seem to be enough to give a bed good drainage.  What else can I do or what else should I do to help the beds drain better?  I can't really grow cactus or many of the drought tolerant plants because of the amount of water the clay holds."




What you have described is shown in Figure 2 below and Figure 1 is what you started with. By digging a hole in the clay for the good soil you have essentially created a big flower pot with no drainage holes. Water easily moves through the improved soil till it reaches the clay.  Water moves into and through clay very slowly hence the water stacks up and is trapped as shown in blue.  This forces the air (oxygen) out of the soil and the plant roots suffocate and it creates conditions for pathogens to grow.


There are several methods to attack this problem which is common for many of the clay soils along much of the Gulf Coast.




1) The most common method is to build raised beds on top of the clay soil (Figure 4). This allows a plant's feeder roots to grow in the improved soil that was brought in and the anchor roots (shrubs, vines, trees, etc.) to be in the clay.  Many species of plants grow best in this type of planting (e.g. roses).


The following book has a very good description on how to build raised beds and options for doing so.


"Year Round Vegetables, Fruits and Flowers for Metro Houston," by Bob Randall, PhD., Retired Executive Director Urban Harvest.  A resource guide on how to grow plants in the Houston area organically and where to get the supplies you may need.  It is sold at many area gardening centers.  One of the very best resources for Houston and Gulf Coast. Highly Recommended


2) The second method works very well but takes much longer, and that is to break down the clay into loam so that it drains well (Figure 3).  This is done by placing a thick layer 5-6 inches of Native Mulch on top of the clay (shown in brown).  As the microbes break down (eat) the native mulch they also break down the clay into soil. So after year one, you may have 1-2 inches of good soil (broken down clay) under what is left of the mulch layer. One just repeats this process each year and in a few years the clay has broken down many inches deep and it will drain better.


I have the black gumbo clay in my yard and over the years it has easily broken down over 18 inches deep and a lot more in spots. With all the organic matter and the life in my soil from microbes to earthworms and more, I can receive a 3 inch rainfall and in less than an hour it has all been absorbed into the soil and stored until plants need it. I can grow cactus, aloes, etc. without any problems and at the same time species like rain lilies thrive.







This new column is inspired by the dogs we love, 
their gardens and our readers.
                                           The muttley crew of dogs in the garden at the Bowen house.     
We have received lots of dog related gardening questions since this newsletter first got started. The questions have been about all sorts of topics having to do with the activities and interests of dogs and gardeners that share some of the same spaces outside. 

From week to week we will dig into various solutions to some of the challenges dogs can present out in the garden. We will also delve into many of the great options out there with respect to dog friendly (and tolerant) ground coverings, play features and garden design considerations.

We would love to hear from our readers. Please send your questions, stories and pictures of your dogs in the garden that you don't mind sharing.

We will also feature an adoptable dog of the week that needs a good home.

Stay tuned & send any ideas you might have and be willing to share to lazygardenerandfriends@gmail.com. Please write "Garden Tails" in the subjects line.


A personal note from Mark: I have gotten to know Chasity at the shelter. She is super sweet and smart. And oh my, she is so much fun to watch flying through the air catching balls and being quite the acrobat. If we did not already have three rescue dogs at home, she would be there. I know you'll love this girl if you take a chance on her.

For more information about adopting Chasity or other animals needing a home, visit the Montgomery County Animal Shelter website http://www.mcaspets.org/ or their physical location: 8535 Highway 242, Conroe TX.




 Gardening events only. Events listed are in Houston unless otherwise noted. 

Events must be written in the format used below, specifically earmarked for publication in the

 'Lazy Gardener & Friends Newsletter." Email to lazy gardener@sbcglobal.net


Sat., Oct. 18: Trees: Choice and Maintenance, 10am, Maude Smith Marks Library, 1815 Westgreen Blvd., Katy. 
Harris County Master Gardeners Precinct 2 event. Free. Details: https://hcmga.tamu.edu


Sat, Oct 18: Urban Harvest's Fruit Tree Basics, 9-11:30am. $50. UH Central Campus, 4800 Calhoun, Charles McElhinney Hall #106. Details: 713-880-5540 or www.urbanharvest.org 


Sat., Oct. 18: Celebrate Herb of the Year by Chef Chris Crowder and Ann Wheeler, 10am, Gunter's Heirloom Vegetables, 9am-1pm, The Arbor Gate, 15635 FM 2920, Tomball. Free. 281-351-8851, www.arborgate.com 


Sat., Oct. 18: Fall Gardening Day with Texas A&M Extension Agents and Harris County Master Gardeners, 9am-noon, Harris County Extension Office, 3033 Bear Creek Dr. $15 before Oct. 3; $20 after. Details: 281-855-5600, www.facebook.com/HarrisCountyMasterGardeners 


Sat., Oct. 18: Earth-Kind Home Landscaping Class by Missouri City Green, Missouri City Parks & Recreation and Ft. Bend County Master Gardeners, 9:30-11:30am, Missouri City Community Center, 1522 Texas Parkway. Free. Details: www.missouricityreen.org  

Sat., Oct. 18: Fall Grasses, 10:15 am, both Cornelius Nursery locations. Details: www.corneliusnurseries/events 

Sat.-Sun, Oct. 18-19: Peckerwood Garden Open Weekend,  20559 FM 359 Road, Hempstead. Guided tours 10am & 1pm. (No children under 12). $10.  Plant sale 10am-3pm. Free. Details: 


Sun., Oct. 19: Ornamedibles by Angela Chandler, 11am, The Arbor Gate, 15635 FM 2920, Tomball. Free. 281-351-8851, www.arborgate.com 


Mon., Oct. 20, Open Garden Day with Harris County Master Gardeners at Precinct 2. 8:30-11am, Genoa Friendship Garden,1202 Genoa Red Bluff Rd. 9:30am: Educational Programs and Master Gardeners Q&A.Details:



Mon., Oct. 20: Soil Management for the Home Garden by Dr. Joe Novak, 6-8pm, White Oak Conference Center, 7603 Antoine Dr. Near Northwest Management District Fall Gardening Workshop. $25. Registration/details: www.nnmd.org or 713-895-8021  


Tues., Oct. 21: Trees: Choice and Maintenance, 6:30pm, Recipe for Success, 4400 Yupon St. Harris County Master Gardeners Precinct 2 event. Free. Details: https://hcmga.tamu.edu 

Tues., Oct. 21:  Succulents: Picky, Picky, Picky by Elizabeth Barrow, 10am, Knights of Columbus Hall, 702 Burney Road, Sugar Land.  Free. Sugar Land Garden Club event. Details: www.sugarlandgardenclub.org 

Wed. Oct. 22: Succulents of Mpumalanga and Kwa Zuku-Natal by Jeff Pavlatt. 7:30pm, Metropolitan Multiservice Center, 1475 West Gray. Free. Houston Cactus & Succulent Society event. http://hcsstex.org/


Sat., Oct. 25: City of Conroe's Water Conservation & Irrigation System Evaluation Symposium. Speakers: Doug Goodwin, Leslie Keen, and John Ferguson. 10a.m.-noon. 401 Sgt. Holcomb Blvd. South, Conroe. Free. http://www.cityofconroe.org/departments/water-conservation or 936-522-3148.


Sat, Oct 25: Urban Harvest's Self-Watering Container Gardening. 9:-11:30am.$50. UH Central Campus, 4800 Calhoun, Charles McElhinney Hall #106. Details: 713-880-5540  or  www.urbanharvest.org 


Sat., Oct. 25: GardenLine Host Randy Lemmon, 10am-noon, The Arbor Gate, 15635 FM 2920, Tomball. Free. 281-351-8851, www.arborgate.com

Sat., Oct. 25: Palm Society Gathering and Meyer Library Palm Garden Visit, 2 pm, Bill and Kay Burhans residence, 5607 Sanford Road. Details: Paul Norris, poollovers@comcast.net


Sat., Oct. 25: Spring Bulbs - Fall Planting, 10:15 am, both Cornelius Nurseries. Details:  www.corneliusnurseries/events 


Sat., Oct. 25: Brazoria County Master Gardeners Fall Open House, 9am-11am, Brazoria Environmental Education Station, Hospital Drive & CR 171, Angleton. Details: http://brazoria.agrilife.org  


Sat., Oct. 25: Brazoria County Master Gardeners Fall Open House, 9-11am, Brazoria Environmental Education Station, Hospital Drive & CR 171, Angleton. Details: http://brazoria.agrilife.org


Sat.-Sun., Oct. 25-26:  Southwest Bromeliad Guild Show and Sale (Texas & Louisiana, DoubleTree Hotel Houston Airport, 15747 JFK Blvd. Sale: 9am-5pm Sat.;10am-3pm Sun. Show: 2pm-5pm Sat.; 10am-3pm Sun. Free. Details: Gene Powers, 281-633-9036.

Tues., Oct. 28: Harris County Master Gardeners Open Garden Day, 9-11:30am; Trees: Choice and Maintenance: 10am adult workshop/children's activities. Free. AgrilLife Extension Office, 3033 Bear Creek Dr. Details: https://hcmga.tamu.edu

Fri.-Sat., Oct. 31-Nov. 1: 26th Annual Fall Festival of Roses, Antique Rose Emporium, Independence. Details: 


Sat. Nov. 1: 42nd annual Herb Society of America/South Texas Unit's Herb Fair, 9am-3pm, Multi-Service Center, 1475 West Gray. Free. Details: www.herbsociety-stu.org.  (note new site.)


Sat., Nov. 1, "Fall Vegetable Gardening" by Fort Bend Master Gardeners Vegetable Specialists, 10am, Demonstration Vegetable Garden, Agricultural Center, 1402 Band Road, Rosenberg. Free. Details: 281-341-7068 or www.fbmg.com.


Sat., Nov. 1: Creating a Bird Friendly Backyard, 10:15 am,both Cornelius Nurseries. Details: www.corneliusnurseries/events 


Tues., Nov. 4: Cover Crops by Jean Fefer, Ph.D., noon, AgriLife Extension Office, 3033 Bear Creek Dr. Free. Harris County Master Gardener event. Details: https://hcmga.tamu.edu


Wed., Nov. 5.  Pumpkins, Squash and Gourds by Corrie Ten-Have, 9am, University Baptist Church, 16106 Middlebrook Dr.  Free.  Gardeners By The Bay Autumn event.  Details: Marjorie 281-474-5051.


Thurs., Nov. 6: Mercer Botanic Gardens 40th Anniversary Distinguished Lecture: Dr. Peter Wyse Jackson on "Growing an Ark: The Expanding Role of Botanic Gardens in Plant Conservation." 6:30 pm, Houston Museum of Natural Science, 5555 Hermann Park Drive Houston, Ticket details 713-639-4629 or www.hmns.org/lectures.


Thurs.,Nov. 6, 2014: Perennials by Margaret Sinclair, 9:30am, Municipal Utility Building, 805 Hidden Canyon Drive, Katy.  Free.  Nottingham Country Garden Club event. Details: nottinghamgardenclub.org or 713-870-5915 or 979-885-6199


Thurs., Nov. 6: Forcing Bulbs for the Holiday by Patricia Martin, 930am, Marie Workman Garden Center, 112 West Spreading Oaks, Friendswood. Free. Details: 281-992-4438

Thurs, Nov 6: Starting a Community or School Garden, Class 1. 6:30-9pm. $36. Urban Harvest, 2311 Canal St # 124. Details: 713-880-5540 or www.urbanharvest.org


Sat, Nov 8: Urban Harvest's High Density Orchard. 9-11:30am. $36.  UH Central Campus, 4800 Calhoun. Details: 713-880-5540 or www.urbanharvest.org


Sat., Nov. 8: Fall Rose Show, 1:00-3:00pm, South Main Baptist Church, 4300 East Sam Houston Pkwy, Pasadena. Free. Houston Rose Society event. Details: www.houstonrose.org


Sat.-Sun, Nov. 8- 9: Peckerwood Garden Open Weekend, 20559 FM 359 Road, Hempstead. Guided tours 10am & 1pm. (No children under 12). $10. 
Plant sale 10am-3pm. Free. Details: peckerwoodgarden.org

Sun., Nov. 9: Tree ID for the Novice, 2pm- 5pm, Houston Arboretum & Nature Center, 4501 Woodway Drive. $45. Details:www.houstonarboretum.org.


Wed., Nov.12: Herb Gardening for Home Use by Marilyn O'Connor, noon-2pm, Lunch Bunch, Mercer Botanic Gardens, 22306 Aldine-Westfield, Humble. Details/reservations: 281-443-8731

Thurs., Nov. 13: Healthier Rose Bushes Produce  More Blooms by Ed Bradley, 7:30pm, St. Andrews Episcopal Church parish hall, 1819 Heights Blvd. Free. Houston Rose Society event. Details: www.houstonrose.org


Sat., Nov. 15: Edible Wild Plants, 9am-1pm, Houston Arboretum & Nature Center, 4501 Woodway Drive. $65. Details: www.houstonarboretum.org

Sat, Nov 15: Urban Harvest's Fruit Tree Care. 9-11:30am. $36.  UH Central Campus, 4800 Calhoun, Oberholtzer Hall.  Details: 713-880-5540 or www.urbanharvest.org

 Mon., Nov. 17, Open Garden Day, with Harris County Master Gardeners at Precinct 2. 8:30-11am, Genoa Friendship Garden,1202 Genoa Red Bluff Rd. 9:30am: Educational Programs/ MG Q&A. Open garden/plant sale every Monday May-Oct. Free. Details:https://hcmga.tamu.edu 


Tues., Nov. 18: Ten Commandments of Lazy Gardening by Brenda Beust Smith, 10am, Knights of Columbus Hall, 702 Burney Road, Sugar Land. Sugar Land Garden Club event. Details: sugarlandgardenclub.org

Thurs., Nov. 20:  Native Seed & Plant Swap and Social,7:30-9 pm, Houston Arboretum, 4501 Woodway. Free. Native Plant Society of Texas/Houston Chapter event. Details: www.npsot.org/houston   


Thurs, Nov 20: Starting a Community or School Garden, Class 2. 6:30 - 9:00pm. 6:30-9pm. $36. Urban Harvest, 2311 Canal St # 124. Details: 713-880-5540 or www.urbanharvest.org

Sat.-Sun., Nov. 22-23: Heritage Gardeners in Friendswood 48th Annual Christmas Home Tour, 1-5pm. $10 pre-tour; $15 tour day. One starting point: Marie Workman Garden Center, 112 West Spreading Oaks. Details: heritagegardener.org or 713-534-7662.

Sat.-Sun, Nov. 22:23: Peckerwood Garden Open Weekend, 20559 FM 359 Road, Hempstead. Guided tours 10am & 1pm. (No children under 12). $10.  Plant sale 10am-3pm. Free. Details: peckerwoodgarden.org


Tues., Nov. 25: Harris County Master Gardeners Open Garden Day, 9-11:30am; Protecting Plants in Winter: 10am adult workshop, children's activities. Free. AgrilLife Extension Office, 3033 Bear Creek Dr. Details: https://hcmga.tamu.edu

Sun., Nov 30: Landscaping with Texas Native Trees, Shrubs & Vines, 2pm-5pm, Houston Arboretum & Nature Center, 4501 Woodway Drive. $45. Details: www.houstonarboretum.org.


Tues., Dec. 2: Harris County Vegetable Trials and Texas SuperStars Update by Skip Richter, noon, County Extension Office auditorium, 3033 Bear Creek Dr. Free. Harris County Master Gardener event. Details: https://hcmga.tamu.edu/Public/pubP2.aspx


Sat.-Sun., Dec 13-14: Winter Native Plant Sale, 9am-4pm, Houston Arboretum & Nature Center, 4501 Woodway Drive. Details: www.houstonarboretum.org.


Sat., Dec. 20: Edible Wild Plants, 9am-1pm, Houston Arboretum & Nature Center, 4501 Woodway Drive, Houston. $65. Details: www.houstonarboretum.org.

Mon., April 21: What's Blooming in the Lazy Gardener's Garden by Brenda Beust Smith, 10am, Walden on Lake Houston Club House.  Lake Houston Ladies Club event. Non-member reservations required:Carol Dandeneau. #832-671-4475


Events submitted in the exact format used above will receive priority in inclusion in the calendar.
Events NOT submitted in our format take longer to get published as someone has to reformat and retype them. Email to: lazygardener@sbcglobal.net  


Need speakers for your group?  Or tips on getting more publicity for events? Brenda's free booklets that might help:  "Lazy Gardener's Speakers List" of area horticultural/environmental experts, and "Lazy Gardener's Publicity Booklet" (based on her 40+ years of her Houston Chronicle "Lazy Gardener" coverage of area events)  Email specific requests to: lazygardener@sbcglobal.net.
Please help us grow by informing all your membership of this weekly newsletter! 

                                                ABOUT US


. . . but Brenda Beust Smith is also:

   * a national award-winning writer & editor
   * a nationally-published writer & photographer 
   * a national horticultural speaker
   * a former Houston Chronicle reporter
When the Chronicle discontinued Brenda's 45-year-old Lazy Gardener" print column a couple of years ago, it ranked as the longest-running, continuously-published local newspaper column in the Greater Houston area.

Brenda's gradual sideways step from Chronicle reporter into gardening writing led first to an 18-year series of when-to-do-what Lazy Gardener Calendars, then to her Lazy Gardener's Guide book and now to her Lazy Gardener's Guide on CD (which retails for $20. However, $5 of every sale is returned to the sponsoring group at her speaking engagements).

A Harris County Master Gardener, Brenda has served on the boards of many Greater Houston area horticulture organizations and has hosted local radio and TV shows, most notably a 10+-year Lazy Gardener run on HoustonPBS (Ch. 8) and her call-in "EcoGardening" show on KPFT-FM. 

Brenda recently ended her decades-long stint as Production Manager of the Garden Club of America's BULLETIN magazine. Although still an active horticulture lecturer and broad-based freelance writer,  Brenda's main focus now is  THE LAZY GARDENER & FRIENDS HOUSTON GARDEN NEWSLETTER with John Ferguson and Mark Bowen of Nature's Way Resources.

A native of New Orleans and graduate of St. Agnes Academy and the University of Houston, Brenda lives in Aldine and is married to the now retired Aldine High School Coach Bill Smith. They have one son, Blake.

Regarding this newsletter, Brenda is the lead writer, originator of it and the daily inspiration for it. We so appreciate the way she has made gardening such a fun way to celebrate life together for such a long time.
John is a native Houstonian and has over 27 years of business experience. He owns Nature's Way Resources, a composting company that specializes in high quality compost, mulch, and soil mixes. He holds a MS degree in Physics and Geology and is a licensed Soil Scientist in Texas. 
John has won many awards in horticulture and environmental issues. He represents the composting industry on the Houston-Galveston Area Council for solid waste. His personal garden has been featured in several horticultural books and "Better Homes and Gardens" magazine. His business has been recognized in the Wall Street Journal for the quality and value of their products. He is a member of the Physics Honor Society and many other professional societies.  John is is the co-author of the book Organic Management for the Professional. 
For this newsletter, John contributes articles regularly and is responsible for publishing it.

Mark is a native Houstonian, a horticulturist and organic specialist with a background in garden design, land restoration and organic project management. He is currently the general manager of Nature's Way Resources. Mark is also the co-author of the book Habitat Gardening for Houston and Southeast Texas, the author of the book Naturalistic Landscaping for the Gulf Coast, co-author of the Bayou Planting Guide and contributing landscape designer for the book Landscaping Homes: Texas. 
With respect to this newsletter, Mark serves as a co-editor and occasional article contributor.

Pablo Hernandez is the special projects coordinator for Nature's Way Resources. His realm of responsibilities include: serving as a webmaster, IT support, technical problem solving/troubleshooting, metrics management, quality control, and he is a certified compost facility operator.
Pablo helps this newsletter happen from a technical support standpoint. 
COUPON: BUY TWO OLD GARDEN ROSES & GET A THIRD FREE At Nature's Way Resources www.natureswayresources.com
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